Self-storage company sues Denver, which banned the big boxes that store little boxes near RTD stations

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Greenbox Self Storage, 2424 Delgany Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Greenbox Self Storage claims Denver owes the company money and a do-over for blocking its bid to build a branch in south Denver's Goldsmith neighborhood.

Last year, based on recommendations from its planning department, the Denver City Council outlawed new "mini-storage facilities" within a quarter-mile of rail stations in an attempt to encourage a lively, walkable area.

Prior to the change, Greenbox aimed to open a branch at 4700 E. Evans Ave., near the Colorado RTD station. The company claims the city judged its building proposal based on the new regulations, even though it applied under the old ones. The move violated state law, the company alleges.

City planners worked with the company on its application and "misled Greenbox into believing that its proposed use was lawful," according to the the claim, filed in Denver district court June 9. "Staffers actually thwarted Greenbox from learning about the new ordinance," it states.

Denver Community Planning and Development would not address specific claims, but the department gave Denverite the reasoning behind the zoning change.

"The intent behind the change was to align zoning in station areas with the city's goals for transit-oriented development and what our station area plans call for, which is the kind of mix of uses that result in pedestrian-friendly communities designed to maximize residents' access to transit and optimize alternative modes of transportation like walking and biking," a spokesperson said in a statement.

City attorneys would not comment on the litigation.

Greenbox wants the court to reverse a decision by Denver's Board of Adjustment for Zoning that applied the new parameters instead of the old ones to the company's request. Greenbox is also suing for money it would have made had it been allowed to build the Evans Avenue branch.

The storage company does not comment on pending litigation, according to Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, the company's attorney.

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